Lincoln City 4-1 Swindon Town Player Ratings: Bostwick shines

Danny Cowley – hitc.com

In a fine, counter-attacking performance, Lincoln City ensured they began their campaign with six points from two with a 4-1 win over Swindon, thanks to goals from John Akinde, Michael Bostwick, Harry Toffolo and Matt Green. Here’s our Player Ratings for the game.

Lincoln City

Josh Vickers – the ex-Barnet goalkeeper made a number of excellent saves for Lincoln last week and, even if he wasn’t as busy this time around, he stayed alert to make one crucial one-on-one stop in the first half and looked convincing when called upon. 7

Neal Eardley – the ex-Birmingham man was arguably the most consistent right-back in League Two last season and he continued in that same vein here. Needed the first five minutes to find his passing range and get to grips with proceedings but once he did, he largely dominated Anderson and put in a steady display. 8
Scott Wharton – the young defender showed promise at Cambridge as well as in his previous spell with Lincoln. Here, he was perhaps fortunate not to be caught out by Adebayo on one occasion but he was otherwise impressive, showing impressive reading of the game. 7
Michael Bostwick – an outstanding performance. Not only did the ex-Peterborough man dominate Adebayo in the air as a centre-back, he also made a huge difference to the game when he moved into central midfield late on. Fully deserved his goal – surely there cannot be too many more dependable players in League Two? 10
Harry Toffolo – the 22-year-old was a familiar face to the visitors, having been part of Swindon’s 2014-15 side; he also took part in another play-off campaign two years later with Scunthorpe and is therefore more than prepared for a year in League Two. Toffolo put in an energetic performance and while he didn’t break beyond Andrade too often, he was still given enough freedom to pop up with Lincoln’s third goal. 7

Lee Frecklington – the ex-Rotherham midfielder, who started his career with six years at Lincoln, is honoured to have been named captain of his hometown club, so it is no surprise that he put in a passionate display. 7
Michael O’Connor – the experienced ball-winner has played to a good standard in League One with Port Vale and is therefore an asset at this level in terms of his leadership qualities. The Ulsterman has definitely shaken off the nine-month anterior cruciate ligament injury he encountered at Notts County e appeared to have injury issues at Notts County and put in an excellent first half display, striking the woodwork from range. 8

Harry Anderson – a big part Danny Cowley’s decision to revert to a four-man defence was that enabled him to incorporate a natural winger in Anderson and that decision certainly paid off. After winning the early penalty off his namesake Keshi, Anderson caused all sorts of problems with his pace and power down the right flank. Could be a star of the League Two season. 9
Shay McCartan – interestingly, McCartan has been used as a substitute in his career more often than he has started. Although he put in an excellent performance here, we also saw glimpses of why that might be: he looked extremely tenacious, quick and persistent which made him a real threat in a counter-attacking system. However, there may still be room for some improvement in terms of his end product: fine-tune that and you’re looking at potentially a Championship player. 7

Bruno Andrade – the forward found excellent form for Boreham Wood last season and on this evidence, he’s taken the step up like a duck to water. Andrade posed a real threat on the break with his mobility and clever runs in from the left channel. 8

John Akinde – the former Barnet hitman offered his usual power which enabled Lincoln to go direct, much like Matt Rhead. Perhaps slightly differently to Rhead though, Akinde also offers the option to run in behind and that made him a real handful for Swindon in the first half. Tired somewhat after the break, when his focus was more on winning free-kicks than running in behind; it was perhaps the right decision from Cowley to bring him off when he did, albeit after a very encouraging home debut. 8

Matt Green – Tom Pett (on 65) – although Pett didn’t score in his time on the pitch, he injected Lincoln’s attacking play with a hint of craft just in front of the opposition back-line and made a difference to the momentum of the contest. 7
Jason Shackell (on 73) – the 34-year-old debutant brings genuine pedigree to the Imps back-line, having won three second-tier promotions in his career and that was on show in his short time on the pitch. 7
Matt Green (on 77) – the ex-Birmingham striker showed excellent movement to score his header last week and continued in that same vein here; not only did he chase lost causes as we have come to expect, he also took his goal very well. 8

Swindon Town

Lawrence Vigouroux – roundly considered to be the best goalkeeper in the division, Vigouroux was surprisingly sent out on loan to Waterford last season, although his blunder last week raised some alarm. A big man and seemingly an even bigger character, the Chilean didn’t have his best afternoon but, one senses, his leadership qualities could be key to Swindon’s response. 5

Kyle Knoyle – the right-back, who swapped Wigan for Wiltshire, is highly-rated. However, he was caught out of position on one or two occasions and while he did create some space with his second half forward forays, the quality of his crossing left something to be desired. 5
Olly Lancashire –  the ex-Rochdale centre-back has had injury issues since joining Swindon and although he did make one or two good blocks in the first half, he was also partially at fault for the fourth goal. Not one of his better afternoons. 4
Dion Conroy – the young defender was ruled out for almost the entirety of last season, so his return to fitness feels like a new signing; although he’ll need to improve on today’s showing. 3
Matt Taylor – the veteran’s set pieces represented a large chunk of Swindon’s goal threat last season and there were one or two examples of his technical ability causing problems. However, there were also occasions when he lacked the pace to get on the end of the simplest of lay-off or handle a powerful runner in Anderson. 3

Michael Doughty – the midfielder come numerologist chose the number three shirt as he believed that number to represent creativity, so it was ironic that he bagged a treble on opening day. The ex-Peterborough midfielder coolly slotted home the penalty and was Swindon’s main threat during a 25-minute second half period with his driving forward runs from midfield. Phil Brown may look to build his side around this man. 6
Martin Smith – the 22-year-old, who joined Swindon from Coleraine this summer, had what might have been his side’s only effort in the first half hour – and that was way off-target. One or two nice passes but it cannot be ignored that he was part of a midfield that was dominated for much of that first half. 5
Steven Alzate – the loanee arrived from Brighton with positive reviews from fans of Leyton Orient, but his time in East London represented his only exposure to the EFL. Alzate struggled to adapt to the senior game, especially playing in a long ball system against far more powerful, experienced professionals. 4

Keshi Anderson – the ex-Crystal Palace man looked a real threat last week but here, he struggled to get the better of Neal Eardley in the first half, even if he showed some nice touches after the break. Considering the pre-Christmas form Anderson showed last season, he’s the type of player one might expect a bit more from. 4
Elijah Adebayo – the Fulham loanee didn’t pull up any trees at Cheltenham, where he was mainly used as a substitute, but last week’s performance offered some encouragement. Here though, he was asked to win long balls against the more powerful Michael Bostwick, a challenge very different to the challenges he faced with the Cottagers’ youth setup. 4
Jermaine McGlashan – a player Phil Brown knows well due to their time together at Southend United, McGlashan offered raw physical qualities and his energy didn’t appear to drop as the match went on. However, it’s fair to say McGlashan might have had more productive games in terms of the work he does with the ball. 5

Jak McCourt (on 69) – some Swindon fans feared that McCourt had been signed on the grounds of one wonder-strike at the County Ground for Chesterfield; the challenge for him is to convert his doubters. 5
24 Scott Twine (on 69) – the bright young forward wasn’t quite able to impose himself on the contest on this occasion. 5